Outgoing Camas Mayor, Shannon Turk, presided over her final City Council meeting Monday night — a busy evening in which council members voted on several ordinances and resolutions.

Earlier in the day, at the Council public workshop, Downtown Camas Association Executive Director, Carrie Schulstad, publicly thanked Turk and Council Member Deanna Rusch for their years of public service, and presented them with mugs full of candy.

“Thank for you what you did for Camas,” said Schulstad.

Several firefighters publicly thanked Turk and Rusch, who were both defeated in the November 5 election. Camas School Board member, Erika Cox, also expressed her gratitude toward Turk, who has served Camas for years: 7 as city councilor, and 1 as Mayor.

Cox said the following: “Your passion for educating our neighbors on processes, and your encouragement for involvement was evidenced by your volunteering in our schools, your mentorship of Camas High School youth, the club CYAC for civic-minded students, your years as a council member, and your service about volunteering for an appointment as mayor in the middle of a resignation, during your service to Camas in a myriad of ways I’ve mentioned you’ve inspired young leaders, you’ve encouraged your neighbors to be involved, and you’ve given hours upon hours representing our city …”

Rusch also expressed gratitude.

“It’s been a pleasure to serve you the last two years,” said Rusch. “It’s probably been one of the best things I’ve done in my life so thank you for the opportunity. The results of the election are disappointing but I will not love Camas any less … it’s really easy for these things to tear us apart, but I’m hoping that these things bring us together …”

From left: Council member Deanna Rusch, Port of CW Commissioner John Spencer, and DCA Vice President Randy Curtis.

Lake/Everett Roundabout

At workshop, Camas city staff provided an update on the Lake/Everett Road roundabout, which continues to progress. They also showed a video of the finalized landscaping selection, which uses native and hearty ornamental species (including the Camas lily) for easy maintenance. It was noted that the city will repurpose a lot of the cut trees into benches.

Brady Road Project

The Brady Road project is progressing well, thanks to good weather. However, staff has run into soil underneath the road that is softer than expected, requiring excavation and replacement of a stronger base.  Costs right now are $250,000 on this phase of the project. Cost overruns on this project are budgeted, said the city, which expected the project to cost $6.2 million, but it was bid at $5.6 million.

New Staff Positions

Council members approved, as part of the 2020 budget re-adoption, the addition of three new city staff positions: Communications Manager, Economic Development Manager, and School Resource Office for Camas High School.

Council member Bonnie Carter emphasized how citizens want better communication so she is very supportive of the new Communications Manager position.

Camas resident Margaret Tweet objected to the creation of an Economic Development Manager.

In the public comments, resident Margaret Tweet objected to the creation of the Economic Development Manager position.

“The city is not running these businesses or operating these businesses,” said Tweet. “There are things the city can do to help a business to help attract a company. Sometimes economic development work is non-sensical. I remember Paul Dennis and the former mayor taking credit for Sharp. It’s important to understand these economic development groups take credit for things they don’t do. The marketing aspect isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. We need to see an audit report of CWEDA (or Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association).”

To which Mayor Turk replied: “The audit is ongoing, and we can see there are things need to be changed. In the past year, the CWEDA board put into place the requirement of agenda, minutes, and audits. We set up a treasurer and there is public review of payouts being made. There were a lot of growing pains, and we are working to correct them. The audit report will be made public.” 


Property Tax Levy

After receiving final assessed values from the Clark County assessors office, Council members voted to approve the next levy, which will be $3.11 per $1,000 of assessed value. By law, the property tax levy cannot exceed one percent annually.

Camas Library Bond

Council also voted to make a final payment on the 20-year Camas Library bond, which is $610,000, or about 12 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.

Hagensen/Webberly Annexation

The Hagensen/Webberly Annexation was presented by Robert Maul, and calls for annexing property just north of Camas High School into city limits. The council voted 4-3 to reject the annexation at this time. Here’s how the vote was split:

  • Carter: Yes
  • Burton: No
  • Smith: No
  • Anderson: No
  • Hogan: No
  • Rusch: Yes
  • Chaney: Yes

Block Grant to Rehabilitate 12th Avenue

Council voted to apply for a community development block grant of $250,000 to make extensive repairs to 12thAvenue.

Emergency Rescue Fund 2020

Council voted to support a levy to raise $21,000 for the Emergency Rescue Fund.

Crown Park Improvements

Council votes to amending the city of Camas 2019-2020 budget ordinance to include improvements to Crown Park, which includes new bathrooms.

Parks and Recreation Meetings Location Change

Council voted to move the location of Parks and Rec meetings from Lacamas Lodge to City Hall so the proceedings can be recorded.

At the close of the meeting, Turk expressed a heartfelt statement about public service. Please click the link to watch this short video:

Mayor-Elect Barry McDonnell will be sworn into office on December 2.

According to Tuesday’s results from the Clark County Elections Office, write-in Camas Mayoral candidate Barry McDonnell has won the election with 3,545 votes, or 52.74 percent of the vote.

Camas Mayor Shannon Turk received 2,757 votes, or 41.01 percent, and Camas City Councilor, Melissa Smith, also a write-in candidate received 420 votes, or 6.25 percent.

McDonnell, who works in Loss Prevention for Sephora, announced his write-in candidacy in early October and aligned himself to the No to Prop 2 movement (pool bond) accusing the city government of not being transparent enough in the process, and not communicating well with Camas voters.

The timing of the news caught the McDonnell family by surprise, said Barry’s wife, Anastasia.

“Barry is currently on a business trip in California, and we were expecting this news on Wednesday,” said Anastasia. “He’s currently meeting with his boss, and isn’t available for an interview right now. We’ve just been immersing ourselves in everything from planning to GMA. We are thrilled! We are so excited! This is everything we hoped for! It happened in 34 days! It was incredible the response we got from the community.”


“We pushed but they responded, and that response is going to change the future of Camas, and it is thrilling to think about. The fact that we have someone new in office will be great. It will be advantageous, it will be exciting. It will be a whole new world.”

“The first thing he will do is meet with everyone, every head of every department and hear their concerns, and see what their ideas are for the future. Then he’ll sit down with the city councilors and hear their concerns. From there he will start doing round tables with community members, and that will be a lot of work. We will move forward in a positive way.”

This story will be updated.

The election will be certified on November 26, and McDonnell will be sworn in on December 2.

Photos by Nest and Love Photography.

Anastasia McDonnel, forefront, listens to her husband, Barry McDonnell, at the Camas Mayoral debate. Photo by Nest and Love Photography.

The Clark County Elections Office provided an update on the Camas Mayoral race today.

According to Greg Kimsey, the final results from the Camas Mayoral race won’t be known until the middle of next week due to the high volume of write-in ballots coming in from Camas and throughout Clark County. Other cities are taking a priority, as well.

Each ballot will be closely analyzed by elections personnel and members of both major political parties. They will confirm signatures, analyze hand-writing and then have each ballot counted and tallied.

If a name is misspelled, but it’s clear the intent of the voter, it will count. There are still 27,000 ballots countywide left to count.

At stake, is the manual count of more than 2,700 write-in ballots cast in the Camas Mayoral race. Voters cast votes for at least three candidates: Barry McDonnell, Melissa Smith, and Awna Underwood. Currently, the write-in votes account for about 60 percent of total votes cast for the Camas Mayor position.

You can see countywide results here:

Here’s an update of the voter data from throughout Clark County:

Number of Precincts303
Number of Registered Voters293,385
Total Ballots Counted78,696
Estimated Ballots Left to Count27,000
Next Ballot Count On11/07/2019 5:00 PM
Last Tabulated11/06/2019 4:57 PM
Voter Turnout26.82%

I enthusiastically support Cassi Marshall for Port Commissioner. Along with many local elected officials, I was hoping to do so quietly in the background, not making an issue of it. But Bill’s campaign manager has publicly announced my position and made some misstatements about why I support Cassi. 

First, I want everyone to know that this is decision between good and really great. I like and respect Bill for his many qualities and his years as a public servant; I just know Cassi is going to be amazing. Most importantly: she understands the values of compromise and partnership in public life. 

Second, there are no plans to expand the runway at Grove Field. Quite the opposite: we as a commission have decided to shelve any such discussion while we focus on the Washougal Waterfront. While I continue to believe that expanding the airport would be a great economic driver for our community, I agree with Larry, Bill and staff that we can do much more good elsewhere. Cassi has told me she also supports this position as well. 

One of the most important skills a public servant needs is the ability to clearly state their position, find a compromise that group supports, and then move on in partnership. One of the many things I respect about Cassi is that she understands this.


John Spencer, Commissioner, Port of Camas-Washougal

Cassi Marshall is running for Port of Camas Washougal Commissioner.

Vancouver, WA — The Carolyn Long for Congress campaign announced she raised over $600,000 in the first 12 weeks of the campaign, out raising Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler by $150,000, and setting a new quarter fundraising record for the Long campaign.

The Long campaign was able to do this from 4,782 individual contributions from over 3,200 individual contributors. 90.7% of all money raised from individuals this quarter came from in-state and 87.8% of individual contributors were low-dollar donors. The report indicates no money was donated to the Long campaign from corporate PAC’s.

“I am so incredibly humbled by the groundswell of support we have seen across the district. I am honored to have received the trust and support of over 3,000 people to flip this district bringing effective representative back for Southwest Washington,” said Carolyn Long. “We deserve to have someone in the other Washington who has our back and fights hard every single day for us, and right now we don’t even have someone willing to meet with or hear from her constituents. It’s well past time that we had affordable and accessible health care, lowered costs of prescription drugs and important investments in our infrastructure including bringing high-speed internet to every corner of Washington’s third.”

Herrera Campaign Response

“Carolyn Long and her D.C. money machine will do whatever it takes to grab hold of Southwest Washington’s third Congressional district. We have to show these extremists that our home is not a seat in Congress to be purchased to advance a socialist agenda. Long’s support for a $2,300 tax hike on working families would be just a start, hardly enough to foot the bill for her $32 trillion government takeover of our health system.”

To learn about each campaign, visit or

From left: New State Rep. Larry Hoff, Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, and State Rep. Paul Harris.

Rep. Larry HoffR-Vancouver, has been appointed to the Washington State Building Code Council (SBCC) by Acting House Speaker John Lovick. Hoff, who serves as the assistant ranking member on the House Consumer Protection and Business Committee, will represent the House Republican Caucus on the council.

“As someone with a 35-year background in business, I understand how challenging—and costly—it can be to navigate state agency rules and regulations,” said Hoff. “I look forward to working with my fellow members on the council to ensure the state building code makes sense and serves Washingtonians well.”

The SBCC provides independent analysis and objective advice to the Legislature and the governor’s office on state building code issues. It also establishes the minimum building, mechanical, fire, plumbing and energy code requirements necessary to promote the health, safety and welfare of the people of Washington by reviewing, developing and adopting the state building code.

“The actions we take will affect developers and consumers in both the short- and long-term, so it’s imperative we approach every decision with thoughtfulness and care,” Hoff added. “We must also be mindful of the fact we’re facing an affordability crisis that’s affecting many of our friends and neighbors. We have an opportunity to be part of the solution through the decisions we make as a council, and I sincerely hope we take advantage of it.”

Hoff’s appointment to the SBCC follows on his earlier appointments to the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee, the Future of Work Task Force, and theFinancial Education Public-Private Partnership.

Here’s a recent article about Hoff:

Near the conclusion of the Town Hall. From left: Representative Brandon Vick; Senator Ann Rivers; and Representative Larry Hoff.

Camas, WA — A formal Camas Mayoral debate has been set for Tuesday, October 22 at 6:30 pm at the Grass Valley Fire Station in Camas, and the public is invited to attend.

All three candidates for Camas mayor — Shannon Turk, Barry McDonnell, and Melissa Smith — were invited to attend and participate in the 90-minute debate, which is being organized and hosted by Lacamas Magazine and Clark County Today.

Doors for the event will open at 6 pm, and residents are encouraged to come with questions.

“Although all the rules haven’t been set and approved by the candidates yet we encourage Camas residents to attend the event, and come prepared to ask questions,” said Ernie Geigenmiller, publisher of Lacamas Magazine. “It will be a real debate in which the candidates are asked questions by moderators, their opponents will offer a rebuttal, and there will be opportunity for real dialogue between them — as well as an opportunity for residents to directly ask questions. There are also rules of decorum at public facilities like the fire station that will need to be followed. More details to come.”

Mayor Turk and McDonnell have accepted the invitation, while Smith, citing health concerns, said she will not attend the debate.

Turk ran unopposed until early October when McDonnell, a newcomer to politics, announced his write-in candidacy. Days later, Smith, a veteran Camas City Council member, also started her own write-in campaign.

“I am excited that this has come to fruition and am looking forward to it,” said McDonnell. “I think public debate is important for an authentic democratic process and regardless of outcome, this will be a win for the citizens of Camas. I hope we get a great turnout!”

Turk didn’t issue a formal statement, but welcomed the opportunity.

The mayoral race became competitive after weeks of increasing concern about Proposition 2, the community aquatics center and sports field bond, which is on the November ballot.

We encourage you to post your questions in the comments section of this article — or on our Facebook or Instagram social media sites. You may also email us:

Frustrated with Proposition 2, the demolition of Crown Park Pool, and the overall direction of city leadership, Barry McDonnell, 41, a newcomer to politics, is officially a write-in candidate for Camas Mayor.

With his write-in paperwork with Clark County just confirmed, McDonnell, who works in Loss Prevention for Sephora, admits it’s a long shot bid to unseat incumbent Mayor Shannon Turk but feels this is a worthy endeavor.

“Three or four weeks ago it popped into my head and I knew this was something I would be doing,” said McDonnell. “I was talking about the community with Anastasia (his wife), and felt this is something I could do. I want to protect Camas.”

Protect Camas from what?

“The reason we moved to Camas three-and-a-half years ago is because we were looking for a place to settle down,” he said. “We were so excited and we feel so lucky to have found it. But now we are seeing a lot of changes. There’s been frustration with those changes and the way communication works between the city and its citizens. There’s an opportunity here to change this.”

Top three reasons he’s running:

1) Bring transparency to city government.

2) Be fiscally responsible for taxpayer’s money — “I think when we ask for money we just have the base level of the project be more clear. They should have their details more pronounced.”

3) He wants to be a voice for the people.

McDonnell said his view about Camas leadership started with the Crown Park pool process and the ensuing demolition.

“I wanted to protect it and understand it,” he said. “The process didn’t feel right — I felt like there was another agenda. I look at the amount of time we pulled together as citizens and the research we did, and how we shared that information. But, when we attended the city council meetings it felt frustrating that we didn’t get any responses in those meetings. Randy Curtis (the City of Camas Parks and Rec Board Chair) told my wife in conversation during a P&R meeting that in closing the Crown Park Pool, they were hoping it would create a sense of urgency and enthusiasm in the public for a new community aquatic center. In our family, and our community of friends, it’s served to do just the opposite.”

McDonnell said the city rushed to build the community center outlined in Proposition 2.

“Looking at the big picture they’ve been trying to get a new pool for 18 years,” he said. “They’ve spent so much money trying to build a new pool, and we’re not any closer to it. It’s somewhat embarrassing. Between demolition costs and all their research I think we’ve spent $687,000, and that shows we’re not being very efficient. I still don’t think we’re any further getting the community a new pool.”

The projected cost of Proposition 2 is part of what is driving his candidacy.

What does he thinks the community wants?

“We want a pool,” he said. “We all agree on that. The location and the price tag of Proposition 2 are red flags. If we change the structure I can find out what the community wants. Then we can change the way the city interacts with the people.”

How would he change the structure?

“First, change the formats of the city council meetings,” he said. “Be more interactive with the people in the council chambers. Explain why we’re going in a certain direction. For example, Proposition 2 doesn’t make sense to me. There’s a lot of public frustration. I don’t know where the vote is going to go. If it passes you go with that, but I feel like the city has lost its way.”

“I think there’s a lot of different things that happen. As mayor I would hold myself accountable to the people. I would encourage participation. It’s about bringing people together to formulate the ideas and have them bubble up from the people.”

If elected, McDonnell would start by getting a feel for what the people are looking for. Then he would get to know and understand city staff, understand the expectations, and take the time away from his family to be successful in the job.

Aware of the demands and responsibilities, he said his experience in Loss Prevention is a great asset because it helps to evaluate stressful situations and find the best solutions.

He knows that change is inevitable, and he sees the growing frustration in city limits about trees being removed, along with crammed and poorly designed housing developments — but how would he navigate the Growth Management Act?

“We know the GMA is a big obstacle, it is something my wife and I have looked into, and honestly, been overwhelmed by. The overarching theme of our campaign is to have a community driven focus for the future, and there are many things that I would need to call on our community members to help us, as a city, navigate and challenge together. I’ve heard from folks about how the neighbors in Sunningdale Gardens studied these laws and went to bat to challenge the developers. They were able to get more green spaces and parks than were originally planned, and I think that’s great and it’s important to me that we live in a city where both our government and the people are on the same page when it comes to being willing to challenge and have high expectations of developers who work in Camas.”

Creating a 30-year vision

“I will work with the community to help put that vision together. I don’t have all the answers. Working with them the vision will come forth. Listening is being a leader. Have a discussion. Understand what the situation is. The community is the one trying to create a vision.”

What’s his vision for North Shore?

“I couldn’t tell you. I’ll assess the situation. We’ll figure it out — at the end of the day we would like a pool. I would like to understand what all the options are. I don’t really know. I’m not going to have all the answers. My skill set is in helping identify the direction we’re going to take, and make sure there are check-in’s all the way.”

McDonnell insists he isn’t funded by any large or small interest group.

“I have a 30-day campaign,” he said. “It’s a last minute kind of thing. It’s just friends and ourselves. We’ve had a few people donate.”

Learn more at where he also has a podcast discussing this journey. He is hosting a candidate Meet and Greet at Crown Park this Sunday from 2-4 pm.

Originally from Ireland, he, Anastasia, and their four children have lived in Atlanta, Florida, Colorado, and Camas. He has the support of his whole family.

Is he opening to debating Mayor Turk?

“I’d be open to a debate with Mayor Turk,” he said. “I think it would be healthy.”

Vancouver, WA — Carolyn Long, an educator at Washington State University Vancouver for the past 24 years, announced her campaign for Washington’s Third Congressional District. Long, along with community leaders and stakeholders, will be making three stops on her announcement tour today, starting in Centralia, then Longview, and finally back home to Vancouver where she will be joined by her husband, Kevin, and daughter, Tennyson.

“I am very excited to announce my run for Congress in the third congressional district,” stated Carolyn Long. “Time and time again we have watched as Southwest Washington gets left behind. For too long DC politicians have chosen to listen to powerful special interest groups and corporations instead of listening to their constituents. That is why I am not accepting corporate PAC money. We need common-sense solutions to move our country forward and it is time we had someone who understands Southwest Washington’s values and knows how to get results, regardless of partisan politics.”

Long lost her first bid for the 3rd Congressional seat in November 2018 against incumbent, Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, by 5 percentage points. She told Lacamas Magazine at a November campaign rally that if she lost, she’d run again in 2020.

Carolyn Long grew up in a rural community and dropped out of school to help her family get their small produce stand, John’s Fresh Produce, up and running when her father fell ill. Going back to school once her father was able to get back to running the business, she was inspired to give back to her community. As teachers expanded her own opportunities, she made the decision to give back and became an educator at WSU Vancouver. 

“Growing up in a working family,” began Carolyn, “I know the costs and barriers that make it harder for our families and small businesses to get ahead. I am running because I have seen firsthand the astronomical costs of healthcare and prescription drugs pushing families to choose between putting a roof over their head or paying for lifesaving medicine. We need a representative who puts our working families and seniors first rather than voting 40 times to gut pre-existing condition protections.”

CAMAS, WA — After several years, Camas City Council is bringing back ward meetings to encourage residents to share ideas, concerns, and questions with the elected officials who represent their geographic area.

“As community and regional growth continues, the City of Camas wants to make sure that all residents keep having a voice in the issues that affect them,” said Mayor Shannon Turk. “I believe the smaller setting of local ward meetings will have a big impact on making valuable connections across Camas.”

Residents are encouraged to locate their ward by visiting the Clark County Maps Online website, clicking the Search tab and entering their street address or tax ID number.Ward meetings will occur twice this year, once in the spring and once in the fall. The first set of upcoming ward meetings will be held in April and May 2019, as follows:

  • Ward 1 – Sat., April 27, 1-3 pm, with Council Members Deanna Rusch and Melissa Smith, at Camas City Hall Council Chambers, 616 NE 4th Ave.
  • Ward 2 – Sun., May 19, 12:30-2 pm, with Council Members Bonnie Carter and Steve Hogan, at Camas City Hall Council Chambers, 616 NE 4th Ave.
  • Ward 3 – Mon., April 29, 7-8:30 pm, with Council Members Ellen Burton and Greg Anderson, at Dorothy Fox Elementary Library, 2623 NW Sierra St.

The format of the spring ward meetings will be casual to allow residents to bring their own ideas, concerns and questions for discussion with their council members as well as the Council Member at Large Don Chaney and the mayor. The format of the fall meetings will be more structured, with a set topic that is specific to the ward. Council members from other wards will attend one another’s meetings to get a sense of key themes across the community; however, they will not take part in the discussion.

“By trying out various formats, we hope to see what works best for the citizens and council/mayor to communicate on ideas and issues,” said Turk.

Starting in 2013, the annual September State of the Community event was launched to replace ward meetings, which ceased in 2011 due to decreased attendance. The event is held each September and features presentations by the mayor, Camas School District superintendent and other local leaders such as the Port of Camas-Washougal director. The event is expected to remain part of the City’s public outreach continuum.

The decision to reinstate ward meetings was inspired by the success of recent town hall meeting with state legislators.

About City of Camas

Located in eastern Clark County, City of Camas is home to approximately 23,000 residents. Camas boasts a vibrant historic downtown, approximately 60 miles of trails, numerous hi-tech manufacturing industries, and a state-leading educational system. From its origins over 100 years ago as a paper mill town, Camas continues to successfully blend a mix of cultures, values, and vision. For more information, visit